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David Tarkington
Orange Park, FL
Lead Pastor of First Baptist Church of Orange Park & the First Family Network
Recent Activity
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As a lifelong Baptist who grew up in a family that moved every few years due to my father's military service, I have been part of a number of Baptist churches. For the most part, during the 1970s and 1980s,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2020 at davidtarkington.com
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Every local church has members who decide for one reason or another to leave the fellowship. The reasons people have for leaving are varied. Some reasons are godly and prayerfully considered. Some are selfish and consumeristic. Some leave angrily and/or... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2020 at davidtarkington.com
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The expansion of churches and gospel ministries is an outgrowth of the Great Commission and in our nation today (and elsewhere) planting new churches in areas of increased population density where few, if any, gospel churches exist seems to be... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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Last week, during a "Parents Night Out" event sponsored by the children's and preschooler's family ministry, I was the guest for a time titled "Pizza with the Pastor." It was during this hour I joined our elementary school-aged children. When... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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In 1926 Ernest Hemingway published his novel The Sun Also Rises. As with many Hemingway books, this one became a best-seller and remains in print today. This character Mike Campbell was asked about his money troubles and responded with this... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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This morning I met with our students at the local junior high to lead our weekly Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) meeting. We have a great group of seventh and eighth graders. Some are athletes, others are not. It's an... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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Social media and a networked online presence for people is here to stay. This new instant media world has impacted much. Conversations are often conducted with misspelled and abbreviated words through texts, political statements and movements are no longer relegated... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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It seems that every day another Christian leader, church leader, former pastor, and Christian entertainer has succumbed to the #MeToo and #ChurchToo focus. While some just wish we could talk about something else, those who have been victimized sexually in... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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Last week my wife and I traveled to Dallas, Texas for the 2019 SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) National Conference. As a result of the February 2019 exposé in the Houston Chronicle regarding sexual abuse in Southern Baptist... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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Well...we're not cancelling youth ministry. We are moving one of our Wednesday youth worship services to another location. In fact, we're dividing our group up and saying "go to one of these available locations." Why? Partly because we are partnered... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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Pastors often find themselves meeting together at conferences, denominational events, or community gatherings. Once the typical small talk is over, and if they actually like and trust each other, many will begin to express what they feel regarding the seeming... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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I am a sports fan. I have been since I was a child. I come by it naturally as my father has always been a big sports fan. I remember watching games on television as a kid. I also remember... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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The Bible is an amazing book, and much more than just a book. Within the sixty-six books of the Bible there are stories of adventure, romance, battle, rescue, and numerous other things that are commonly spoken of as elements of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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Through my recent studies in the book of Ezekiel for Sunday sermon preparation and 1 John for my mid-week Bible study, I have been speaking on the tendency for us to either justify our sin or not acknowledging it for... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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In 2016 after the IndyStar ran an exposé on USA Gymnastics (USAG) and how the organization turned a blind eye to sexual abuse perpetrated by coaches for years, a young woman in Louisville, Kentucky responded. She sent an email to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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You know the story, I'm certain. David is the king of Israel. He's the "man after God's own heart." He has risen to the throne after years of service to King Saul, a daring escape and hiding out from the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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Growing up in various Baptist churches (my father was in the Air Force, so we lived in numerous cities) we would prayerfully consider where to attend church and when the "right" one was found, we would join. In those days,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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"It has never been this bad" is a statement of despair that I have heard from numerous people over the years. This cry echoes in our culture once again as we hear of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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In November 2018, I posted an article here regarding Joshua Harris and his renouncement of his best-selling book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. At that time, he was most widely known in conservative, evangelical circles as the former pastor of a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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The longer one serves in pastoral ministry, the more funerals one attends. Depending on the average age of one's church, the number of funerals vary. Our church is almost one hundred years old and our membership is fully intergenerational. Therefore,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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*(JUNE 21, 2019) EDITED BASED ON INFORMATION I DID NOT PREVIOUSLY KNOW. APPRECIATE THOSE WHO BROUGHT DETAILS TO MY ATTENTION. THE INFORMATION IN THIS ARTICLE REFERENCES A STORY FROM OVER THIRTY YEARS AGO. THE STORY REFERENCED IS PART OF THE... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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The oft-quoted phrase "Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated" is attributed to Mark Twain. While actually a bit of a misquote from what Twain actually stated, the gist is correct. When it comes the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC),... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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"It's never been as bad as it is now." That statement has been said to me numerous times in various ways over the past five or six years. The topic is American political leadership and the divide among Republicans and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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Our church has been making the long shift from a family-based or programmatic ministry model to a family-equipping model over the past few years. It is difficult to understand why for man, but here is another reason... From Reggie Joiner... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2019 at davidtarkington.com
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Numbers and statistics can be grueling. Just ask anyone (like me) who moved through two semesters of statistics in college and more in graduate work. The values are vital and helpful, but can become overwhelming. Also, apart from good statistical... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2019 at davidtarkington.com